Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fame-ous Update

And it's out! Please note that there still is an annoying bug that I couldn't fix yet, related to European houses, settlers and the AI... I will fix it, but it was taking too long so I released the update with it.

At this point I kinda recommend a re-installation of the game and mod, simply because some stuff has been removed from the mod and might still be present in your game and, well do it only if you think it's necessary, if you experience problems or things don't behave as I describe them.

So what does the update contain? Well, new stuff for everyone, Europeans, Natives, Asians, and Revolution civs.

Europeans got the new expected resource, Fame, which can be used on all kind of stuff, from Home City cards to techs and armies. The second thing Europeans got are Fort banner armies, which are basically the Consulate armies Asians get.
I don't think it was fair how Asians got so many units at once for basically free, since Export doesn't really cost anything. So, I added the Consulate armies to each corresponding civ, trainable at the Fort, changed their cost to gold and Fame, and voila!

Revolution civs and Natives got bigger training blocks. What does it mean? It means that I doubled the number of units they can train at once, from 5 to 10. Revolution civs get it for free and Natives get it from the new Confederacy Support tech. Natives can also call an Euro Expeditionary Brigade, similar to the Consulate ones, from the Native Embassy.
I really think that with these additions, Rev civs and Natives got a lot more stronger. Also, to help Natives, I made all cannon artillery unable to fire from point blank range, which means there needs to be a little distance between them and their target to be able to fire. This makes them very vulnerable to melee attacks.

Asians got some changes in Consulate armies. Just a bit. Not much to do here. They are too perfect...

I plan to take a new approach with Revolution civs, and make them what everybody wants them to be, full featured civs. I'm thinking to give them villagers, Imperial Age upgrades and all the stuff normal civs have. The purpose of Revolution will only be to play as a new American civ, like Mexico, Colombia or USA.
Still thinking on this one.

Other stuff the update brings can be found here...
- added the Miner as Mercenary on American and Asian maps
- changed how Fisheries and Town Centers are placed
- fixed some units with area attack damaging buildings (if you happen to notice melee units damaging buildings with their melee attack, let me know...)
- added a new resource for all Europeans, Fame, which has the following characteristics...
-- it can be gathered from Town Centers by Envoys (improves gather speed in Age4)
-- it can be used on Church and Royal Decree techs
-- it can be used on Royal Armies and Treasury Support cards, and can be exchanged for Shipments at the Capitol
- fixed AI building more than one set of walls
- units are (a little) less likely to get run over by trade units
- Natives can now train Scouts from the Town Center from the beginning of the game
- the Fort can now train armies similar to the Consulate ones; the cost of the army will be cheaper than the overall cost of all units from the army
- changed livestock units for some European and Native civs
- Natives now have WarChief pets enabled form the beginning of the game
- after Revolting, military units can be trained in blocks of 10, instead of 5 (also added to the Native Confederacy Support tech)
- added European Brigades to the Native Embassy for all Native civs
- artillery can't fire from point blank anymore, which makes them incredibly vulnerable to melee attacks, so protect your artillery!


The big Fame update is coming really soon, I just have one annoying bug to fix, but before that I have another question for you all.

I was suggested to change how military units look, once again.
Instead of having them change their skins and/or models, basically their entire look, when upgraded (Veteran, Guard, Imperial and Native and Asian counterparts), now they will have all skins/models available from the beginning and have them randomized for the most variety possible.

This has both upsides and downsides...
The upsides are of course the nice visual refreshment and realism resulted from such a variety.
The downsides are that map natives (like Huron or Apache) and mercenaries have only one skin/model, which means no variety for them...
Also, players might get a bit confused and forget what upgrade they researched for their units.

And I plan to change this a bit, and have all units back to using the same skins/models once upgraded to Imperial, again trying to make it more realistic. It's normal to have rugged and uneven units in the Discovery and Expansion ages, but as you progress in time and become more advanced and civilized, you need to have clean and organized units, all using the same uniform. Sounds logical to me.

So, what do you think? Please vote in the poll.
Thank you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Master Plan

Alright, so, here is my big master plan for the next updates:

1. Native Americans will (not probably) receive Export and Consulates. There is a very big small problem here, the buff which increases damage against buildings from the Fire Pit, applied on a European Heavy Cannon could result in something extremely OP... So I must find a way to maybe make Fire Pit bonuses not affect Consulate units. Not sure I can...
So, Natives will have only 2 allies in the Consulate, not 4 like Asians, and will probably gather Export slower.

2. I will be replacing the Dutch with the USA... AoE3 revolves around the colonization of America, and the main civ that came out of this business was the USA, as seen in 3 acts of 2 campaigns.
So basically, the USA is more important than the Dutch, which means I must do it... Sorry for all those who are against, but there is another good reason for why the Dutch are going out. The AI. Maurice of Nassau is the best candidate to be transformed into George Washington. His voice lines and attitude resemble Washington's the best from any AI. And no, I can't simply put lines from Washington from the campaigns. I mean I could, but there are too many things an AI would say and I don't have replacements for all of them, not even for a quarter of them...

3. Europeans will get a new 4th resource, Fame. What we see with Europeans after the 2 expansions, is that they simply got old... Old and boring. While they are probably the strongest, they don't benefit from bonuses and effects from buildings like the Fire Pit or Wonders or Consulates. The only real bonuses Europeans get are from the Royal Decree cards, which I also made a bit easier to obtain.
So the new resource will try to address that problem. It will be used on the current Decree techs (for example, if a tech costs 1000 Coin I will split that in half, meaning 500 Coin and 500 Favor) and for some new, very powerful Home City cards. Because let's face it, the most important thing for Europeans is their beloved Home City and King and such. Meaning that I might also address the Blockade tech.
These new special cards will consist of armies with the civ's unique units, and will be named Royal Armies, and of some new techs.

That is all for now. And it's quite a lot... I hope it will be worth the trouble.
What do you people think? Please give some constructive feedback, don't cry, or rage, or ask for impossible things...

1.5. Sadly, Native Americans won't receive Consulates... I know they are still a problem when it comes to number of unique units and firepower but... I really don't know what to do with them... And giving them Consulates won't necessarily make it better. I need another idea, and if you have a good one please share it.

2.5. The Dutch and USA deal, is not happening yet. I was given a little hope that there is another way, so I will wait and see what happens.
Also, I think the USA, or rather the Americans, will receive a remake because as most of you can tell, they are kinda messy... Their units, even their name, is not right for the time frame. I wanted an early American civ, but instead created a weird hybrid even named wrong for the time period.
I'm starting to see this is overall a bad idea, adding the Americans. But I'm not giving up yet.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to work

So, we are all "still alive" in this promising new year. Well then we'd better get back to work!
As I told some of you, I took a small vacation, for the holidays and stuff, but now since they've passed, I'm gonna resume work on the mod.

Thank you to everyone that reported problems and made suggestions for the past few weeks. One of my mottos is "bugs will only get fixed if they are reported... or if I find them", but since I don't play the game that much, you'd better report those bastards...

For now my "to do" list is composed of this:
1. try to implement a new "Export" like resource for the Europeans, for which I still don't have a proper use...
2. fix as many of the reported bugs as possible and try to implement some suggestions
3. finish TWC campaign remake

Then we'll see where the road leads us next.
That would be all for now, thank you for playing my mod and remember, REPORT THE BUGS!